Best of Sacramento 2010

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Best Entertainment

Best Scottish Import Since Plaid: Alasdair Fraser
Hailed as one of the finest fiddlers Scotland has ever produced, this San Juan Ridge resident and master musician has helped foster a renaissance of traditional Scottish fiddling and dance in the U.S. and abroad through his concerts, Nevada City-based record company, and fiddle schools and camps in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Scotland and Spain.

Best Small Theater Nestled Within a Big Neighborhood: Celebration Arts
With blocks of houses surrounding it on all sides, this tiny East Sac theater’s very existence is a surprise to some, but its productions make it well worth pulling out the GPS to find.

Best Local Band Celebrating a Big Birthday: Mumbo Gumbo.
Fun-loving, fan-favorite multigenre party band Mumbo Gumbo celebrates 20 years this year.

Best Jazz Group: American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble
This award-winning student group puts the smooth in smooth jazz.

Best Boomer Band: Ant Bee Band
This six-man acoustic band from Roseville really gets the joint jumpin’ with its energetic covers of classic rock songs from the ’70s.

Best Pint-Size Banjo Player: Quinn Alfaro
When he performs on Second Saturday with local band Mike Blanchard & the Whispering Chingaderos, this 12-year-old more than holds his own with the big boys.

Best Ambassadors for Skateboarding Since Tony Hawk: Nic and Tristan Puehse
These Shingle Springs twins may be only 12 years old, but their skateboarding videos on YouTube have logged more than 11 million views; their first full-length feature film, Nic and Tristan Go Mega Dega, is available on DVD, and more movies are in the works.

Best Reason To Listen Up: Stories on Stage
Fiction writers turn their work over to professional actors, who read the stories at the mike the last Friday of every month at midtown’s Sacramento Poetry Center. It’s often hilarious, sometimes chilling and always a good, lively listen.

Best Gospel Singer Who Can Groove You Into Shape: Van Goss
With a music and fitness nonprofit called Van Goss Ministries, and songs such as “Preacher’s Daughter,” “Irresistible Praise” and “My Lord Reigns,” it’s clear that Van Goss not only walks the talk, she runs it and sings it, too.

Best Dancers Who Hip-Hop Into the Community: Capitol Roots
Dancers from this active arts studio and event production company take hip-hop, break dancing and martial arts tricking out to the region at fundraisers and competitions.

Best Stepping Stone to Stardom: B Street Theatre Acting Internship Company
Recent college grads from throughout the country try out for coveted spots in B Street’s acting internship program, where they receive intensive professional training and opportunities to appear in the award-winning theater’s plays. Former interns have gone on to star in productions in major markets.


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Best "Just for Fun"

Best Swing Set: Midtown Stomp
Every Friday night, midtown’s Eastern Star Ballroom teems with toe-tappin’ energy as dancers of all ages and experience levels convene for lessons in East Coast swing and Lindy Hop, followed by hours of open dancing to DJs and live bands.

Best Way To Indulge Your Inner Rock Star: Skip’s Music’s Weekend Warriors
You provide the talent, time and money, and Skip’s Music will pair you up with like-minded musicians, loan you equipment, offer a little coaching and—at the end of four weeks’ practice—give you your own gig!

Best Example of Defying the Rumors: West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In
We’ve heard rumors that the area’s only remaining drive-in theater was closing for the past 10 years—yet the reels roll on.

Best Wild Ride for Moviegoers: D-BOX Seats at Folsom’s Palladio 16 Cinemas
D-BOX seats allow you to feel action-movie rumblings and rollings in your back, butt and thighs. The 22 seats, limited to one theater, cost $8 more than standard seat admission.

Best Art-filled Hotel: Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade
The lobby of this hotel is filled with depictions of regional landscapes in various media by local artists Gil Amavisca, Joseph Bellacera, Paula Wenzl Bellacera, Terry Pappas and others along with sculptures by Camille VandenBerge and Masatoyo Kishi.

Best Bet for Your Budding Artist: ArtBeast Studio
Young children not only can unleash their inner Picassos at this midtown art center’s open studios but can take classes in movement, drumming, yoga, glee and more. Proceeds benefit Tubman House, a nonprofit serving young, homeless parents and their children.

Best Ambassador for UC Davis: Melanie the Cockatoo
This sociable Moluccan cockatoo—a full-time resident at the vet hospital since 1998— charms visitors with her playful antics.

Best Girls’ Night Out: TwinSoup.com’s Stiletto Crawl
Because shopping + dining + a limo + a bunch of gal pals = loads of fun.

Best Lunch Bunch for 15 Years: The Dining Divas
Since 1995, local lunchers Gloria Glyer, Paulette Bruce, Bernice Hagen, Joan Leineke, Gayla Mace and Peg Tomlinson-Poswall have dined out together for Sacramento magazine, introducing readers to new restaurants, regaling them with chatter—and raising almost $400,000 for local charities in the process.

Best Brain Trust: The Sacramento Living Library Series
This free monthly lecture series, around little more than a year, already has featured many movers and shapers of the Sacramento landscape, including former mayors Heather Fargo, Anne Rudin, Phil Isenberg and Burnett Miller; author Peter Schrag; Tower Records founder Russ Solomon; and Sacramento Bee editorial board member Ginger Rutland.

Best New Hotel Amenity: Mac Mini Computers at The Citizen Hotel
Earlier this year, the hotel put Mac Minis in every rooms so guests can check e-mail, download music from iTunes and stream movies from Netflix and Hulu.


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